Design Lab


The Employer-Based Child Care Design Lab is a first-of-its-kind workshop that guides a cohort of employers to understand the essential steps to plan and implement an employer-based on- or near-site child care facility to serve their workforce and surrounding community. Over 8 Lab sessions and 4 months, employers and employer partnerships across industries and sectors engage in financial modeling, understand the local context of the child care landscape, and network within their community and across the cohort. They pursue models that expand child care access and enhance the ability of families to join and remain in their careers and communities.

Over three cohorts, 30 employers have participated in the experience from a variety of regions and represent a diverse set of worker, family, and business needs. Through tailored technical assistance, guided research, and key strategic partnerships, the EPIC team leverages its expertise with employers and experience in the field to present actionable pathways for employers and stakeholders with meaningful present and future impacts.

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“The support of the EPIC team and the content of the Design Lab sessions allowed us to move forward on a project much faster than we would have on our own. We had access to great background information and support, and our inclusion in the Design Lab cohort gave our project credibility that led to wider community partnerships.” – The Powerhouse, Durango, CO


“Our post cohort survey showed 100% of design lab 2.0 participants felt they had the tools to support the design, decision making, and launch, of an on-site or near-site child care center.”
– Alethea Gomez, Director of Programs and Initiatives 


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Community Hospital Utilized Design Lab to Address the Child Care Needs of Their Staff
A lack of accessible and affordable childcare was identified as a community need in Mesa County. As a result, Community Hospital took action and recently broke ground on “Adventure Academy,” a new, onsite early child care and early education facility.

Learn how Steamboat Ski Resort used Design Lab to help Solve Their Child Care Challenge
In December, Steamboat Ski and Resort opened their new employer-based child care facility. Listen to our podcast below on how they “got over their skis” to tackle the problem of a lack of child care with collaboration from EPIC’s Design Lab.

Learn how Mile High United Way used Design Lab to change the game and put on-site child care at their Denver office location
Mile High United Way listened to the community’s needs and is building an Early Childhood Education Center with a focus on the infant and toddler age. Listen to our podcast below on how this is a “…journey that can be challenging, yet so worth it” with the use of EPIC’s Design Lab.

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